SAIIER Staff Quarters
In 2015, Imago won a competition organized by SAIIER (Sri Aurobindo International Institute for Educational Research) for the design of a project of Staff Quarters, aiming to house Aurovilians working in educational institutions.
Set in the heart of Auroville’s Cultural Zone, surrounded by schools and amidst a forest of green, the Staff Quarters for SAIIER drew its inspiration from the mantra “simplicity” and “Tropical Modernism”, aiming for minimalism within vernacular brackets.
The cluster layout taking the underlying Galaxy Plan of Auroville as a reference is inspired in its orientation by Golconde, built by The Mother in Pondicherry, with the main facades of the buildings facing north-south and tilted 15 degrees away from the harsh western sun and towards the natural wind direction. Locally sourced stones, fired bricks and recycled wood and terracotta jali make for the building materials along with RCC as the main framing structure.
The floor plans promote simple lifestyles and functional interiors. Large overhangs shade large openings, letting in as much fresh air and light as possible, minimizing thermal mass and allowing the inside of the apartments to breathe. The roof slabs are designed to have green terraces and host solar water heating systems.
"The beauty of tomorrow manifesting the Divine:
a beauty that exists only by the Divine and for the Divine." - The Mother